Marshall Gushes Over Unofficial To Oregon

San Jose (CA) Valley Christian four-star running back Byron Marshall is beginning to narrow his focus. After a memorable unofficial visit to Eugene last week, Marshall indicates that he's beginning to hone in on a handful of school who will vie for his signature in February.

Overall, how did you enjoy your unofficial visit and the time you spent in Eugene?

"It was cool. Oregon was dope. They have high-class facilities, their coaches are real cool, they practice extremely fast, their team returns a lot of running backs, but they seem like real cool guys...I had a really good time there."

Was this past visit to Eugene your first?

"I went to Eugene in '04 or something like that cause I ran in the Junior Olympics and they had them at (Hayward Field), but other than that, this was my second time being there."

What kinds of things did you get to do while on your visit? Did you tour the campus, see the facilities, etc.?

"I got a tour of everything; I was there for 10 hours I want to say. They showed me the campus, the new academic building that they recently built, the locker room, the weight room, the meeting rooms, the field -- the indoor facility and the outdoor facility -- I talked with an academic advisor, I talked with (head) coach (Chip) Kelly...I did everything imaginable that you could think of. It was real cool. The facilities are really nice -- really, really nice. It was the first time I got to see the indoor facility and the new academic building is CRAZY; just the stuff that they have in there and just how much time and effort that they put in to it. And the fact that it's dedicated to student athletes is something that I thought was really cool; there's just so many different things that it has to offer. Me and my dad probably talked to coach Kelly for, I want to say, an hour and a half or something. It was a good conversation. We talked about football, he talked about his players and his philosophies and things like that. I'd say a half-hour or maybe a little bit more was about football, but other than that, it was just me trying to get to know him and him trying to get to know me because I had never talked to him before. It was a really good conversation. I sat down with (running backs) coach (Gary) Campbell for a half-hour and coach Campbell is a real cool dude. He's real calm...I like him a lot. He's a good coach and I had a good time there. I went to practice and everything and they did a walkthrough, but the walkthrough looked like a legit practice just because of how fast they were moving and how many players they ran and things like that. So yeah, I had a really good time there."

In your conversations with coach Kelly and coach Campbell while on your visit, did they talk about what they like about you and their plan for you if you were to come to Oregon?

"Yeah. They said they need another back because they had a dude from Texas (Lache Seastrunk), I forget his name, but he left and they have LaMichael (James) and Kenjon (Barner). LaMichael is gonna leave after this year, pretty much, just because of the years he's had and Kenjon is probably gonna return and they got a new kid, De'Anthony Thomas, and another guy named Tra (Carson)...I forget his last name. De'Anthony Thomas is more of a Kenjon Barner (type), a slot back/wide receiver that they motion out of the backfield. Tra is more of their big back guy. He's 6'1'', 220 lbs, so they need someone like me who's 5'10'' and in the 200 lb. range that can run between the tackles and still run outside and stuff like that to take the place of LaMichael James. That's what they said about me. They said I'm an every-down type back."

Was there one thing particular that stood out to you the most while on your unofficial visit?

"There was a lot of those. There was a lot of little things that they do. For instance, in their locker room, they have it to where they can change the locker room so that it looks how it is outside. I guess it takes 20 minutes for your pupils to dilate and get used to how it is outside...so they do things like that to give them an extra edge. With the jerseys, it's real cool because with the water and the sweat, it kind of comes off so it makes it lighter, meaning it makes you faster. They have a lot of little things about the program that they use to try to get that extra edge on teams."

Was there ever an urge to commit while you were visiting?

"That's a hard question. I really like the school, but I wouldn't say I was gonna commit. Every time I've seen other schools, I just go back home, think over everything, talk to my family about it, pray about it and then go from there."

After your visit to Eugene, do you feel like that changed or altered your timetable for a decision?

"I've never had a decision date in mind, it's more just knowing which school I want to go to and letting people know. I was never gonna hide it or prolong it or anything like that. I just want to know for myself and once I know, I'll let other people know. So, I wouldn't say it made me want to decide any sooner or anything like that."

What other unofficial or official visits do you have planned at this time?

"So far I'm taking official visits to Arizona State, Notre Dame and Oregon. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna go to the Notre Dame game when they play USC and then I'm trying to figure out whether I'm gonna go to one of the last games when Oregon plays USC or when Oregon plays Oregon State in the Civil War...I think I have a game one of those Saturdays. With Arizona State, I think I'm going down there when they play Missouri at the beginning of year. So, I have visits set up; that's three (visits) right there that I've set up."

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